What is the difference between O2 and O3?

1 Answer
Jan 28, 2018

Oxygen gas # O_2# is very stable Ozone # O_3# is very unstable.


Oxygen gas is necessary for living things in that it fuels the Kreb's cycle that changes carbohydrates like sugar into energy. Oxygen is reactive in that combines readily with other chemicals. However Oxygen is stable until it undergoes a chemical reaction.

Ozone is necessary for living things in that it protects living things from harmful solar radiation. Ozone being unstable reacts with and absorbs solar radiation breaking back down into normal #O_2# Oxygen. Without an Ozone layer solar radiation would cause substantial DNA damage to living organisms. It is possible that without Ozone life on the surface of the earth would not be viable.